Winter in Mississippi is different from winter further north. The low tonight is forecast to be 18F. It rarely gets that low – maybe two or three times a year – and honestly, we don’t know what to do about it. After we’ve put the faucet covers on, we’re pretty much clueless. When it gets this cold, I’ll throw a tarp over my swimming pool pumps and stick a 100-watt lightbulb underneath and leave it on all night. I have no idea if this is necessary, but it does keep me from waking up at 2AM and wondering if my pumps are freezing up. In the morning, we get up and go to work, and freeze all day, because few of us own proper coats, not like the ones Midwesterners have. Most of what we have are glorified windbreakers. We might have some gloves and a ski cap, but finding them is a problem. They’re usually on a closet shelf behind the racquetball equipment that hasn’t been used since 1983.
And this is for dry cold, nothing falling from the sky. Cold rains are OK, we come home from work and stay inside the rest of the night, curled up under a throw in our comfy chair, only getting up to kick the dog out the door to do his Outdoor Thing, so we don’t wake up in the morning to find an Indoor Thing. If there’s any chance of ice, we know exactly what to do. Go to the grocery store and buy all the bread, milk, and bottled water we can find. If ice actually falls, or God forbid, snow, we’re out of response options. Typically we just curl up in a fetal position and wait for the sun to come out.